Story by Angie Thorne on 08/23/2019FORT POLK, La. A new hire in processing training event/onboarding ceremony took place at Fort Polk's Civilian Personnel Advisory Center Aug. 19. Four new civilian government employees were welcomed into Fort Polk's employment ranks.
Christan Higgs, CPAC human resources assistant, conducts the event for new hires. Higgs helps the new Fort Polk employees with any paperwork they need to fill out and answers questions.
Guest speakers from equal employment opportunity, antiterrorism, union and others explain policies for grievances, benefits and more, said Higgs.
"By the time they are ready to leave they have a take home packet filled with information," she said.
Higgs said CPAC's main goal is to help organizations on post fill their vacant positions to support the Army's mission.
"We try to help new employees through the process of applying for a job, making it easier from beginning to end, while giving them the resources and information they need to be successful," she said.
Erich Grice, a new civilian employee of the Fort Polk Fire Department, said his experience with CPAC was the quickest in processing for a job that he has ever been through.
"It's been great," he said.
James Oxford, a new Fort Polk Air Field civilian employee, said once he got the email with the final paperwork he had to fill out for the job, the process went smoothly.
"I filled everything out on my computer and when I got to CPAC today they had already printed it out. They handed my paperwork to me to double check that everything was correct. That really streamlined the process and made things easier for me," he said.
Oxford said he learned his skills as an air traffic controller in the Army and that expertise helped him find work when he transitioned out of the military.
"The Army taught me a skill and I've successfully pursued that career," he said. "I worked for the Federal Aviation Administration for a while but I missed the military aspect of the job as well as the camaraderie of working with the military. I'm excited to start my job here at Fort Polk."
The last step of the in processing is the onboarding ceremony. Col. Ryan K. Roseberry, Fort Polk garrison commander, and garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher M. Ausbun took part in the event.
Roseberry and Ausbun said a few words of encouragement to the new hires and then Roseberry led them in the oath to swear them in as new government employees.
"I know you will be busy as you start your jobs. Remember why you are here and the mission you are supporting. The role you play on Fort Polk is extremely important," he said.